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Sunday, July 24, 2005

No free ride for Sullivan

The last thing a candidate in Connecticut needs is to have ethical questions raised about him so it was a smart move for Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan to skip a Block Island event Friday. You see, Sullivan was to take part in a free ferry ride to Block Island and speak at a reception for the Eastern Regional Conference of the Council of State Governments. The problem with that was the Cross Sound Ferry just received 1 million dollars in bond money recently and people thought it was unethical for Sullivan to get a freebie from the group (after the Rowland scandal, people are a little sensitive about that kind of stuff).

From the Hartford Courant

Ethics questions have led Democratic Lt. Gov. Kevin B. Sullivan to withdraw from participation in a Block Island ferry boat ride and reception tonight for arrivals for the week's regional conference of government officials at the Mohegan Sun casino-hotel.

A legal opinion issued Friday night by the interim general counsel of the Office of State Ethics left things "somewhat murky" as to whether Connecticut officials should accept ferry rides from Cross Sound Ferry, which last month received state legislators' authorization to receive more than $1 million in state bonding money, Sullivan's press spokesman, Dan Tapper, said Saturday.

Sullivan had planned to make welcoming remarks during tonight's Block Island event, which will include a boat ride and restaurant reception for officials from 15 East Coast governments participating in the annual meeting of the Eastern Regional Conference of the Council of State Governments at Mohegan Sun in Montville, Tapper said.

But then Sullivan consulted the ethics office and decided to skip the ferry ride and reception, Tapper said. Sullivan will participate in one of the meeting's government forums on Wednesday, Tapper said.